Remember the beginning of 2020? That magical time when you could plan a party without thinking twice about it? 😉 Back in February, when I was just 12 days shy of turning 30, I FINALLY crossed off one of the last few things on my 30 By 30 list.
I hosted a Favorite Things party!!
Never heard of a Favorite Things party, you say?
Well, pull up a chair, friend – I’ll enlighten you.
Here’s the deal. All of us are obsessed with certain products – a kitchen item you use every day, something you never leave home without, a staple in your makeup bag for years, etc. And I, for one, am always fascinated to learn what brands my friends love so I can try something new when I get bored with what I’m currently using. But a lot of times, those items don’t naturally come up in conversation. I mean…I have a favorite pen, but it doesn’t occur to me to tell everyone in a 10-yard radius when I’m using it, you feel me?
Enter the “Favorite Things” concept.
Let’s say you absolutely LOVE this facial scrub. You bring four bottles of it to a Favorite Things party, where everyone else has brought four of their own favorite things, and you all draw names. Four people go home with your favorite thing, and you get to go home for four new things to try!
IT’S SO FUN GUYS. I already want to do this again. Wrap it up, ‘rona.
HOW TO HOST YOUR OWN PARTY:
Since it was the day before Valentine’s Day AND my first time to host a Favorite Things exchange, I couldn’t resist a Galentine’s Day theme. (And yes, I 110% would have done a Leslie Knope-style brunch if it were possible.) I used lots of floral accents and gold tones to decorate, as well as a few balloons. At the party, several of us were already talking about doing this again for another season or holiday, like fall or Christmas. A Favorite Things party would be fun for a group of moms, a college sorority, church event…the ideas are limitless!
Normally, I would do something like this at my house. But I wanted it to be an open event, rather than limiting it to a small circle of friends, so I decided to host it in a larger neutral space and chose a cute local coffee shop called Opera House Coffee. Depending on a few factors, like how many people you invite and whether you want to have food or drinks, you could host a Favorite Things party pretty much anywhere.
The easiest way to send invites is either by creating a Facebook event or using Paperless Post! Both allow you to track RSVPs and see how many people will be attending. The most important things to tell your guests are: (1) the date, time and location, (2) the theme, if there is one, and (3) to bring ____ of their favorite item valued at $____ apiece.
At my party, some people brought four different items and some brought four of the same item. Either way is fine! As the host, you can decide what you want the dollar amount per item to be, if you want all of the items to follow a certain theme, and if the items should be wrapped or unwrapped. It’s also nice to provide bags for everyone to use to take their new goodies home. Ideas for favorite things include kitchen favorites, beauty or skincare products, books or movies, stocking stuffer items, home decor, crafting supplies, accessories or jewelry, snacks or drinks, and office supplies.
FOOD & DRINKS
This will most likely be determined by your location. The great thing about hosting this type of party at a coffee shop, restaurant, etc., is that people can order whatever they want. This takes a lot of the burden off of the host to feed everyone on top of cleaning their house and decorating. However, if you are hosting in your home, let the theme guide your menu! For a fall-themed party, for example, you could serve hot apple cider, homemade Chex Mix, and pumpkin cookies.
At the party, everyone displays their items in a designated area. If you have a smaller group of five people and a dollar limit of $10-15, everyone could take home one of everything and you wouldn’t have to draw names. If you have a large group, set your budget a little lower and set a limit for how many items people bring. Everyone writes their name on one piece of paper for each item they brought (4 items = 4 pieces of paper), and then draws four different names out of the bowl. For example – I wrote my name down four times, and I drew Jess, Hope, Janae, and Emalea’s names. The four people who drew my name out of the bowl later took home the dry brushes that I brought, and I took home one item each from the four girls I drew. You could also have each person introduce themselves and the item they brought, draw four names out of the bowl, and then immediately give their items to those four people. There are lots of ways to organize a Favorite Things exchange, so play around and decide what works best for your group!
I got lots of kind messages and tags on Instagram after the party was over, so I’m pretty sure everyone else had as great a time as I did! It was so fun to get to share something I love with others, and to learn about more things I need to add to my shopping list. I hope everyone else was happy with the items they ended up with. Personally, I came home with a bunch of hilarious Office stickers, a fruit-and-nut bar, lip balm, dry shampoo, and a cooling gel eye mask, and I love them all!! And on top of that, one of my friends who came surprised me with flowers to thank me for hosting. Thanks again, Maddy!
Planning events, big or small, is truly a passion of mine, and I would love to put my gifts to work for you. Our lives are full of moments worth celebrating, so please think of me the next time you need to plan a party, shower, wedding, or other event!